A couple of friends of mine, burned by this, have now convinced our FLGS to drop Starfinder in favor of other options in the genre.
I don't care what the legalities are, the idea that this brand now openly broadcasts that they are too busy working on 2e to even communicate with the current customer base is too much for me.
Dropping all things Paizo unless by some miracle this company actually begins focusing on customer retention over new customer acquisition. I only spend a hundred bucks or so per year on Paizo content, so I don't have huge clout..but I'm done.
Without inappropriately giving out too much info on my personal/work life, I must say I'm a little confused when people suggest Paizo's hands are tied because ND licensed the brand.
If Paizo is truly hamstrung by this, they need better lawyers. Ninja Division's actions, lack of action, and clear damage inflicted on the brand should basically torpedo any rights they have under the license. This should be the easiest agreement in the world to exit..if the right language was included on the front end.
If the agreement has language prohibiting Paizo from apologizing, they definitely need new lawyers.
Someone at Paizo should look up how J&J handled the Tylenol scare in the 80s and the revelation that using baby oil for tanning was hazardous. In both cases they took actions detrimental to the SHORT term success of their business, but in so doing reinforced faith in their brands which long-term benefited them.
The longer the leaders of THIS brand remain silent, the more time they spend crafting a safe message with the proper legalese, the less impact that statement will have.
At this point I'm sure for a few it's already too late, but at a certain point (perhaps already?) it will have no meaning for anyone because it will have become clear that what Paizo cared about was covering their legal bases... and not truly doing what's right for the customer.
To clarify one bit. I did not back the SF KS, but I backed ND work in the past.
When Paizo actually tried to reassure people about ND, some people reacted by trusting ND due to Paizo's endorsement. I went the other way, and stopped trusting Paizo (or at least their judgement) I haven't bought Paizo stuff since, and that is why I'm watching this - their reaction will have a lot of impact on whether or not I return to being a loyal Paizo customer.
Just one quick point here: The Kickstarter ToS document is a house of cards waiting for one or more Attorneys General to pounce...and pounce they should.
There is not a great deal of legal strength to a document that essentially says "You give us money, we will give most of it to this other party, but we have decided we hold no responsibility for giving you anything, and even though our site has many frauds and thieves, we declare that our hands are washed of it all once payment is processed"
If I give consideration, then the other party(ies) must also provide some consideration or it's not an agreement. I can't tell you I'll paint your house and be off the hook just because I asked you to sign an agreement that says I might not paint your house. Consideration is the critical term here.
While I will agree that it would be hard and somewhat expensive for individuals to sue, this definitely has the potential for AG action or potentially class action, and even if ND has folded Piazo and Kickstarter could definitely be named, in large part because the strength of the Paizo brand was deliberately leveraged to vouch for ND.
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
Here thinking potentially real estate (unlikely) but more likely data IF Paizo was foolish enough not to retain ownership of STLs or similar files for SF should ND fold.
I'm probably spoiled because I write deals for a GIANT company and have people FAR smarter than me in Legal and Procurement, and this is the kind of thing we tend to be very well covered for...sometimes our deals almost make me wish the 3P WOULD fail.
I backed Super Dungeon Explore. so I knew not to back anything like Starfinder minis, Paizo involvement or not. I am not currently a Starfinder player, and I will be honest: this series of events, and the fact that Paizo teamed up with this unethical crew, has stopped me from buying the material. I have enough scifi RPGs without diving into this mess.
But: Couldn't Paizo somehow obtain documentation from backers of their investment, and somehow sell them products from their line that they DO have in stock at COST until the discount=pledge+backerkit?
This would mean that Paizo wouldn't LOSE huge dollars, and customers could use this discount for the SF stock that exists or Pathfinder or... No one gets a delightful result, but this has the added benefit that should this go to court, Paizo could attempt to recover the lost margins.
I'm trying to recall the timeline, but as far as I can tell Paizo would have to be negligent or willfully blind to have done this.
SDE:L was...a year? ...late when they started this. Simple vetting of this partner would have shown issues in pretty much ALL recent KS projects from ND, and in fact in SDE you can see clear misstatements/lies about the state of the project.
I don't include that in my math because Prime is basically a cost savings for us due to the historical volume of orders with paid shipping we did at Amazon, and the fact that we canceled a streaming video service when we signed on. I get your point, though...It is just a weird situation where a subscription is the more expensive way to go (assuming you aren't an absolute collector who has to be 100% complete)
Yeah, for me the sub seems completely silly now.
It ends up being 86.44 for the first shipment, versus getting the same base set and add-on pack from Amazon for 52.95.
That means that in this first shipment with four promos, those promo cards are costing me roughly $8 EACH.
I understand WHY Amazon can undercut, but since I don't really value the promos the subscription ends up costing (for this shipment) 63% MORE than the no-commitment Amazon route. Subscriptions should always save you money...the web made the world crazy
Everyone in my party of characters assumed that it was murder by gargoyle, actually. I saw no reason to give them clues to any other method since it was irrelevant.
Possibly, but I think he means 'perfect for making the map good enough' - though I don't want to speak for him...I don't mind if the fit isn't perfect - I just don't want it really nice in once section of the map, then off by half a square in another section.
This AP is so old I assume this has been asked/answered, but my search skills are apparently not so good.
The adventure has a map of the festival (Burnt Offerings - first big scene), and in it notes that it is available as a flip mat, with Northgate on the other side.
But Northgate doesn't appear as a map in the pdf I own, even though a major scene is set there (Die, Dog, Die...which of course means "Thee, Dog, Thee")
Do I have to buy the flip mat (or PDF of same) to get the map for this battle? I use a VTT and so I'd like an electronic image...I can see the area on the full map of Sandpoint, but to zoom in on that to use as the background for the fight makes it quite ugly and pixelated...basically they will appear to be fighting on the naughty bits from a Japanese adult video.
FYI - using d20Pro at the moment - - I own Klooge (which I don't use anymore, but it had at the time I was using it the greatest control over stretching a map after import of any product I'd seen.
I don't mind not having paper walls - the instance I'm talking about here is not a show-stopper, but the corridor was in a dungeon, so roughly 15' or more of stone on each side, and yet still drawn as 4'-ish....again, this wasn't a big issue, and I'm not advocating for all modules to have all dimensions be nice multiples of 5', with no diagonal walls ever happening - just point out that it looks a bit odd in a 'snap to grid' VTT with this width.
EDIT: Also, referring to someone as 'the problem' then asking that they not take offense makes little sense. I will react accordingly.
I have a solution. There is a spreadsheet file I found online awhile back. It is called Map Scale Tool. It has instruction that give you the calculations to resize your maps to be 1" x 1". It is in .xls format (Exel 97). Easily opened in OpenOffice.
That's exactly the tool I used to have - thanks!
I am predicting, though, that while that tool worked for old maps with odd but consistent grids, it will likely not fare as well against these Paizo maps that seem to have non-uniform distortion across the entire map.
I will give it a try, though.
EDIT/UPDATE - - Catacombs of Wrath seemed to go fairly well...some freaky things like some of the corridors are drawn narrow (like 4 ft instead of 5), but I can manage with that. Probably going to be very hit or miss until folks start making sure squares stay square.
Joining late, but here's my 3 electrum:
I buy RPG products to deal with a specific need - I don't have time to write my own adventures/encounters. When I was in my teens and twenties, I did...now I don't. The number of fantasy/science fiction books and anthologies that are written every year is vast, and the number of really good books written is much smaller, but still large. The fiction you're including is not bad, also not consistently fantastic - why not let us pick up our fiction at the library (whether real or "E")?
I don't need my auto mechanic to share his latest sonnet with me, and I don't need my landlord to show me his newest dance cycle. While the fiction is clearly more tied to the adventures, when I want fiction I'll buy some. I want to pay Paizo for high quality RPG stuff.
I've mentioned this in another thread, but here goes - to me all the 'embroidery' that isn't core RPG stuff just continues to make me worry that Paizo is so busy 'growing the brand' that they're losing sight of the needs of actual DMs and players. But this may be 95% based in my current aggravation about map issues.
James Todd wrote:
Quoting myself there due to irony. So I bought the full anniversary edition "because it's easier to get the maps setup in the software", only to find that the maps are at a whole new level of bad in terms of gridlines/shape, rendering it a nightmare to get them into the software.
I gotta find an RPG publisher that understands VTT users. Ideally one that creates PF products, but at this point I'm willing to jump back to 3.5 or forward to D&DNext if I can run a game without spending most of my prep time fixing map scale issues.
(SNIP) But you know something? I buy the Paizo APs because I like them. (SNIP)
I love reading them, and they seem great. And I had not nearly as much trouble with the 1st Carrion Crown module...so maybe they're getting better, but if so why release this updated-and-improved Super-Mondo-Anniversary edition of their first AP with poorly-executed maps?
There are lots of RPG products out there that I love, but many of them are just not built in a way that works for my group. For me prep time is in short supply - I'm typing this in pieces as I struggle with the maps in the couple hours I have now that the rest of the family is in bed.
John Mangrum wrote:
The ease with which I could use Paizo's PDF maps in D20Pro is one of the things that weaned me back into gaming. I do have to spend a few minutes in Photoshop to convert the map squares' pixel width into whole numbers, but I only ever recall one map that gave me memorable issues with attaining the correct proportions.(SNIP)
John, I'm not sure if perhaps my PC is suffering some kind of unique floating point distortion or if I'm under some kind of curse, but I'm exactly 0 for 3 on these RotR maps...as mentioned, even if I resize with unconstrained proportions to eliminate some of what we scientists call "the stretchies", it is still seemingly inconsistent across the map.
This is one of those places where a different industry would gather the major players together and agree on an image standard - 1 square = 5 foot for this type of map, 1 square is X by X pixels, no distortion.
Again, I fear this won't get fixed until they release their own VTT, and then only FOR their own VTT. No real motivation to do otherwise - except losing my business.
Sorry to reply to myself, but I've been looking at the site, and the TON of new products, and I have to wonder: is this rather callous disregard for a decent-sized chunk of the community (VTT gamers) perhaps a sign that - like other RPG companies in the past - Paizo has broadened so far that they've begun losing track of the needs of the original customer base? They are now no longer a 'role playing game company' and have become a 'major consumer products brand'.
I can buy cards now, and pre-painted minis, and a pencil sharpener that looks like Veznutt Parooh, t-shirts with clever logos, comics, and a colostomy bag in the shape of an aurumvorax...but the maps are wonky in the RPG?
Have you considered enlarging the PDF of the map to the size you want, taking a screen-shot of your monitor (I don't recall the exact Windows command, it's something like Control-Print or the like), and then editing the Windows JPG file using GIMP or other free photo editing software?
I actually did that with the Glassworks map...pulled it in hunks into PS6 (can't say enough good about Adobe CC subscriptions!), then used opacity to help line the chunks up. Still way more labor than I'd like, and far more than I've had with other modules that had square..um...squares.
Even so, it doesn't change the fact that the squares are not only not square, but not consistently the same scale across a map sometimes. Which means in your VTT if the grid works great in the middle, there will be cases where a character snapped to grid will be half in, half out of a wall.
So as not to completely toss away the money I've spent on RotR so far I guess I'm stuck doing that with every map in the thing, but at least I know now that Paizo products are no longer an option for me. I never thought to do a web search for this BEFORE buying...my fault for assuming too much.
So...are we just oddballs? It sure seems to me like a LOT of people are running things with VTT...heck, I'm running using D20Pro and my players are all there, face to face at the same table with laptops.
I bought into Adventure Paths because as a DM with a ton of other things going on, I didn't have time to spend writing a nice connected campaign. Now I find that I'm spending as much time trying to fit poorly-executed maps into D20Pro...if I am going to have to spend hours working to get things ready, I may as well just write my own stuff.
I see no reason whatsoever (other than the rather silly assumption of an evil plot) for them NOT to provide sensible maps with squares that are actually N x N (for further help with this, please consult your grade school geometry book for the definition of a SQUARE).
It sounds like it's pervasive, so I guess I'm going to have to manually revise these maps from this $40 monster RotR book...then I guess I'll have to write my own stuff or find a publisher who can meet my needs. If I'm going to have to do a ton of work, might as well do the fun/creative stuff.
The other funny thing about it is that I'd pretty much decided to go with Paizo because A) they had these APs, and B) D20Pro does a good job of handling PF rules. 50% of my reason for choosing PF is pretty much rendered meaningless by this issue.
Are there any 3rd party publishers creating stuff for PF that understand that all four sides of a square are the same length? (oops...did I need to say "Spoiler Alert" before that?)
Can someone tell me if Paizo might be deliberately making their maps wonky to keep people from using established VTTs until they get their own VTT product out? I hate to assume evil intent when simple negligence is as likely, but these maps are ridiculous in terms of conversion to VTTs.
If you create a map for a group of users who are more and more using VTTs, would it not be really cool if the grid you supply on your maps is actually SQUARE, and CONSISTENTLY SQUARE across the entire map? I'm not even asking for a standard grid size (50x50 or similar) - just a consistent grid.
This is a nightmare....most modules I buy move right into D20Pro or Klooge and a very close grid can be fit quickly. When I run into maps that aren't square (gridlines slightly taller/wider than wide/tall), it's normally at least consistent and I can do an unconstrained rescale...this doesn't seem to work with Paizo maps. They seem to vary across the map in terms of distortion.
Am I just doing something wrong - if so, it's the same something that has worked well for every other map in a module I've purchased?
Related, there used to be an Excel/OpenOFfice Calc worksheet that would automate the unconstrained rescale, and I've lost it, so now I am doing it by hand. If someone has a link to that I'd appreciate it.
You could purchase the Runelords Anniversary Edition, which is converted to Pathfinder. It's only $50 and includes some nice extras.
Toying with that idea, but as a somewhat practical dude it's hard to just write off the nearly 80 bucks I have invested in the first four in the series,
Long ago...seriously...long ago....I bought the first four chapters of Rise of the Runelords, intending to play it in a 3.5 game.
I'm only now getting around to playing them, but now we're using PFRPG. I know that normally conversion is an easy thing, but does anyone know if there's a way to get PF versions of these adventures if you have them already for 3.5/d20, or do you have to buy them again to get the PF version?
I bought the printed versions AND the PDF versions...do PDF versions of the old ones exist in PF rules, and would they allow something like this?
I have tried most of them, and used to swear by D20Pro, but they "improved" the Fog of War, and basically took a not-very-powerful but INCREDIBLY EASY TO USE FoW tool, and replaced with a very high power but horrific to use tool.
Worse, they say that their long-term plan is for people to be able to use either method...and yet they PULLED THE OLD COMPLETELY OUT!
So replace graceful with horrific, and then EVENTUALLY give people the easy tool.
I tend to want my utilities to actually make life EASIER for me. I'm off to try MapTools
I got the reference as well- - great movie, but I hated that scientist who created the supercomputer and then cursed Catwoman so that she turned into a hawk every morning and couldn't marry the replicant that she loved. Luckily Matthew Broderick resolved that situation as well.
There...deal with THAT nerdity.
Just as an fyi, keep in mind that Paizo does apparently have a system in place that let's them send you updates to your legally purchased PDFs. So most of those issues should be resolved once they get back from the Con.
Understood...just seems like quite a large screwup -- I get that they can post new versions like other publishers...it's just in the past when I've had a publisher send out new versions its for small adjustments, not because huge amounts of the functionality are hosed.
It looks to me, based on the nearly unusably wrong bookmarks, and the fact that an entire page has moved, as if Paizo allowed the deadline of GenCon to determine the launch, rather than launching when the thing (pdf) was actually ready.
Is the page in the right place in the book, or did GenCon trump editing of the physical product as well? (need to know if I should cancel a preorder until they get the books right)
Just wait when you get the book and the Amazon orders will be moved to November due to shortage of books at the big A. :)
That would be unpleasant, but I'm not sure it justifies a doubling of the price vs. Amazon.
Also...if you like bookmarked files, don't buy the PDF at all right now...they are completely loused up...so your +10 can wait.
Made the mistake of buying the pdf, THEN coming on here to find out what was up...yes, they are horribly broken, and I'm kind of shocked it was rushed out in this condition.
Since the FIRST bookmark I clicked on was broken (sorcerer bloodline), and the second AND third, I would have to imagine that Paizo could have caught this using the very clever method of actually clicking on a few and seeing what happens before putting it out there.
I like the $10 price point...but I'd rather have paid $15 for a finished product. PDFs without working bookmarks are worth $0 to me. I guess this is an appeal to them to fix it quickly, but as noted above it seems like something they won't fix quickly.
Realizing Paizo's been around for a while, this was still sort of a "Big First" type of product - a chance to make a first impression...color me unimpressed.
EDIT: It seems like they're equally bad in the 'one file per' version, so I can't workaround it that way. Time to just put this away for a while and check in again in a few days.
Not to derail things, but is 3.5 compatible with 3.5?
The number of just freakishly, horribly broken bits that arose from the sea of various books has caused me to be far less worried about PF. The number of times I've had a clever character grab a combination of WOTC-book feats and PRCs and end up with Galactus is staggering.
That's where for me the concern falls apart...it LOOKS like, at least, the closer to a vanilla/core book only 3.5 game you're running, the less jarring PFRPG will be....and the more splat books and expansions you add, sure you increase the risk of issues with PF, but you also increase the risk of issues with the core game.
I will stay in this area, rather than moving to Necromancer - Clark is a great guy, but if he insists on moving to 4E, that pretty much takes me out of their customer base. I had a set of 4E books on bn.com preorder, but when I saw how they are trying to force publishers to stop supporting the version that I had planned to play in addition to 4e...nah...no thank you.
I never had an intention of buying into Pathfinder, either, but now that it's tantamount to a vote against the new restrictive GSL, count me in.
Failed Saving Throw wrote:
Of course, assuming they could do it without harming the customer, there is also a train of thought that says that Paizo should stick with 3.5 even if 4E is a moderate success, if only A) to show that a company which produces good products can survive without the overblown WOTC, to which too much power has been given, B) to provide a series of products using 3.5 that will allow other small companies to build upon without moving to 4E, and C) to basically just stick it to WOTC.
While C sounds petty, it might make them a bit more considerate when dealing with their trade partners.
I understand that, but I also believe that based upon what appears to be their intense desire to hit us for cash at every turn (including no clear and absolute dismissal of the rumor about collectible vmini's! Yick), they will begin to make the books far less complete (evidence: $20 price tag on a hardcover book of hints on how to survive their own modules that they sell)....so yes, the stuff online will be 'extra', but the stuff in the base product - purchased at the old 30-40 prices, will be diminished to allow them to supply the web site without paying for truly additional material. Along the same lines of downloadable maps and content for videogames priced at a meager $10 that gets miraculously released a few hours after the base game hits stores for $60.
Just a quick one:
It's hard to give a lot of specifics, since so much is rumor, but things that keep me from going to 4E are:
1) Over-enthusiastic skill consolidation - Diplomacy does not require the same training as Bluffing or as Intimidation. The same goes for other consolidations.
2) Vancian magic seemingly out
3) Four 'roles' that appear to turn the game into City of Heroes - Hey, send the Tank Barbarian in to draw aggro from those zombies while my warlock hits them for 133t DoT!
and the one that's tough for me:
4) Incorporation of realm-specific items that should be in supplements into the core - for example: Warforged as a main race. Elves, wizards, fighters, thieves/rogues, are archetypes and can therefore fairly easily be placed in any campaign - WOTC seems to want to make things 'easier' by providing the whole world, which sadly makes it harder to run the game in a world the DM creates...sadly the same is true of much of Pathfinder.
For me the core books should be CORE - the basic building blocks of a campaign...in my opinion the gods provided in the 3.x PH were okay as examples, but as far as I want anyone to go in terms of putting Greyhawk/FR/Etc. material in the core. 'Named' spells are okay, because they're just names.
But 4E seems to want to put things in WOTC world, and DMs in WOTCs control.
It's untested waters. If Erik and a few other publishers decide to continue to mine 3.5, they become robust to 4E tanking. If they all jump ship to 4E and it fails...poof.
I will agree with the one poster that 2e was out so long that 3rd may have saved it...but how long has 3.5 been out? Does it need to be saved?
The big question will be: does the influx of new blood, who will likely have a large percentage of people who drop out quickly, be enough to offset those turned off by 4e? But we have to understand that WOTC, honestly, doesn't care if D&D dies if they can sell a few million $40 supplements right now..and they don't care if D&D as we currently understands it dies if they can convert a huge number of folks to a microtransactional subscription-based product.
Companies that produce 3e supplements will still get MY money. But I frankly think that WOTC is putting everyone's business on the table in a big gamble, and the best thing anyone can do is break that dependence, by either releasing their own nice 'core' rulebooks like Monte Cook and others have done, or some other mechanism.
Late to the party, and with a response that may or may not have merit.
I am currently subscribed to Pathfinder, but the flavor/nature of the adventures just doesn't fit with my campaign, so I'll likely let the subscription end. It's a great product, just doesn't help my campaign at all. People can say that's a limitation of my own creativity, and that's a fair accusation, but with Dungeon there was at least a module every issue or so that I could cannibalize.
Let me say that I have ZERO intention of starting with 4E, and buying not only all the books over again, finding they are completely incompatible with 3.0 and 3.5, and then finding that they are incomplete unless I subscribe to an online service. 4E is a non-starter with me.
So my response is kind of mixed.
IF Paizo sticks with 3.5 but only produces products in the 'Pathfinder world' or with that style that I cannot shoehorn into my campaign, they won't see much business from me - only if I see something I can use.
IF Paizo moves to 4E, they won't see ANY business from me.
IF Paizo stays with a line of 3.5 products that are more generally useful, I'll be a customer for a long time.
If I might make one suggestion, though, from an execution standpoint:
Could you try to use your artwork, but the existing coin sizing, denominations, and (perhaps most importantly) color coatings? Ideally, even the placement of the numbers should be close or the same, and all that changes is the style/nature of the non-numeric, non-color design.
As an existing owner of these coins, the last thing I want to start seeing is each campaign world with its own systems, so that I can't mix and match the coins on the tabletop. At sixty bucks a pop they are worth it, but FAR from a bargain, and if I have to own a set for each campaign world then suddenly it's just ludicrous. "Well, I have $300 dollars worth of campaign coins, but I can only use XX of them at a time, because these are Greyhawk coins, and these are Iron Heroes coins, and these are Forgotten Realms coins...etc" - - coins specific to your campaign world is a cool way to benefit the customer, but making them realm specific approaches gouging.